“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure.” Heaven is like a treasure hidden from our senses, unknown to man. We are not looking for it, interested in it or even aware of it. We don’t even know if it is something we can truly understand. But from the very beginning of man, regardless of where he is from, there is a precise awareness that earth is not our final destination and that there is more here than meets the eye.
Parables are required here. The treasure found buried underneath a field illustrates how Heaven is not something that is immediately noticeable. But it is there! Hidden, but placed there for man and only for man (an animal has no use for gold!) Heaven is there, regardless of whether or not we desire it. A man finds a treasure, buries it and purchases the parcel of land by selling all that he has ever owned. We have a fundamental option here: This man’s life will forever change. He has decided to leave all that he has and sell it for a treasure. His heart may once have rested in other things, but ever since he discovered the treasure, his joy has been complete.
Israel was always interested in the Land, the Promised Land, without ever understanding it to be a real life parable of the True Land, Heaven.
Surprised by joy is C.S. Lewis’ autobiography regarding his conversion. He never looked for God, never dreamed of finding God, never sought out God. But God was looking for him. Lewis was lost, and he never even knew it, until he discovered God – and it surprised him with an incredible amount of joy. Joy is different from happiness. Joy is something we do not expect. Happiness is just the opposite. The man in the field, never ever thought that he would find his life taking a radical turn. His eyes had been focused on many other things for so many years. He had worked for “his” goals, was nearly possessed by them, and was driven to do whatever it took to have them. Instead, somehow, some way, his entire life’s dream vanished when he discovered the undiscoverable. That is, when he was caught off guard by the One who watches over us.
“Too late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new, too late have I loved you! Behold, you were within me, while I was outside; it was there that I sought you, and, a deformed creature, rushing headlong upon these things of beauty which you have made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Those fair things kept me far from you.” - St. Augustine, Confessions
Today’s parable reminds us that we can work hard all our lives for things that will never bring joy. Money, material possessions, comfort, position WILL NEVER bring us joy. Just ask your grandparents. What does bring joy is God.
Allow God to be God, and allow Him to bring you joy.